With back-to-back disruptions, companies are being buffeted from all sides with challenges of performance, innovation and growth. In the midst of this, a learning culture helps foster innovation and other critical skills. But how do you ensure a productive learning environment in the middle of such disruptions and challenges?
The disruptions just keep coming.
Through all this, your best bet is to invest in learning. Organisations choosing to invest in upskilling have not only built a resilient structure, but also retained talent. A workforce that is resilient and retaining them are your best bet to stay prepared for any disruptions and competitive challenges. Building such an environment begins with authenticity and empathy, showing genuine care for the capability building of your peers.
Here are three ways to take this path in 2023.
1. Build a customised learning experience
Companies often rely on a convenient method where online resources and digital courses are subscribed to for upskilling needs. This trend is on the rise with companies in India having doubled down on signing up to upskilling platforms. However, our experience and explorations suggest that employees reach a point of fatigue with non-customized online courses.
Companies also face what is called as the “buy vs. build”, where subscribing to packaged content may not translate to getting all the critical skills in one package.
Building a customized experience is an important first step, and can be a whole exercise in itself. While working with clients, our team at X-Leap often has to match company priorities to those at the individual level. Almost half of the design experience (screenshot below) is spent in setting expectations and ensuring that the content being designed, aligns with what the leadership has in mind.
2. Keep the learner, not the role, at the core
Keeping the learner’s motive as central to the learning process is a sure-fire way to succeed at building a successful learning experience.
We refer to this as a ‘learner at the core’ approach. When designing for success, facilitators within the X-Leap team have often asked if a learner’s preference is also accounted for. This is also a means of ensuring that your employee’s views are heard, as they feel that it brings more meaning to the work they do.
To better do this, we try the 4Cs of Adult learning: Competence, Choice, Consequence, Community. Asking questions around these points from the perspective of the learner will improve your planning for learning outcomes within the organisation.
3. Break the monotony in Learning Experiences
With so many digital tools at our disposal for learning, we may feel that one mode is superior to others. And although there are large players operating in the MOOC market, you could consider other forms of learning that would be suitable to your organisation.
Some of these trends are in the form of:
- Apprenticeship: Some learners might prefer a more hands-on approach with an apprentice or supervisor. This is where a traditional model is being given a new twist.
- Cohort-based learning: Referred to as the “fourth wave” of online education, cohort-based learning happens when people of similar skill sets sign onto an online course and progress at the same pace. The sense of community is strong with this one!
- Game-based learning: The rise of digital game based learning is proven to be an effective tool to motivate employees to carve out time to consume content with the help of mini-games
Following the above three points while creating your learning programs will help ensure you make this a collaborative process. You can gain actual insight into the skilling needs of your workforce, make them feel their voice is heard, and create an environment of trust and belonging. You get to exercise creativity and innovation in your role as a leader.